PROTESTORS marched on a council’s headquarters to share their concerns over the uncertain future of a bridge, in June 2019.

Members of the Save Witton Park Bridge group campaigned outside County Hall in Durham before they headed into a Durham County Council meeting to discuss the structure.

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Campaign spokesperson Nick Brown said: “The bridge is one of the only two routes in and out of Witton Park, so its closure has a massive impact on the community.

“We’re here to protest the ongoing closure of Witton Park Bridge, the bridge was closed for repairs in July last year and was meant to reopen in December and yet it’s still closed.

“We have now been told by the council that there are only four options and all of these options are more expensive than the council’s entire bridge budget for the year.

“We are very disappointed with the situation and we feel we have been let down by the council – we’re here to register our displeasure.”

Witton Park Bridge was initially planned to shut for 20 weeks to allow Durham County Council to partially rebuild, clean, and paint it.

The main element of the proposed work involved blast cleaning and painting the existing steelwork.

Since the closure, a detailed assessment was carried out and it was confirmed the bridge was structurally unsound.

Developers vowed in June 2019 that expansion plans for a business park that was set to be occupied by Amazon would not have “any significant adverse impact” on a town centre.

Rontec, which operated more than 240 forecourts across the UK, objected to plans to included restaurants, cafés, a pub, hotel, drive-through takeaways and a petrol station in the development, warning they would have a “detrimental” effect on Darlington town centre.

But planning and development consultancy firm Lichfields said there were no suitable alternative sites available, and the town centre served a “different market” to the Amazon site.

Amazon took on occupancy Symmetry Park, next to Lingfield Point, from September 2019.

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A daredevil great-grandmother who took to the sky to raise money for charity reached her fundraising target, in June 2019.

Kitty Grove Stephensen, from Middlesbrough, took part in a sponsored flight in a microlight aircraft with East Durham Microlights to raise thousands of pounds for MS Research.

The 87-year-old described the experience as “fantastic” and “not scary at all” – and she even got the chance to wave to her friend as she passed over her house.

She confirmed to The Northern Echo that her challenge raised more than £2,500 for MS Research, which brought her overall amount raised to in excess of her £10,000 target.

She said: “It was really exciting – I’ve been planning to do something when I was 87 for quite a while now and this was the one that was able to take me aloft. It is a beautiful day – it couldn’t be better.

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“Basically I do it for the money and the sponsorship – I do it to raise money for medical charities. This is the fourth one I’ve done for medical charities.

“The money is more exciting than anything but it was lovely up there.”

It was by no means Kitty’s first extreme challenge, as she previously abseiled off the Transporter Bridge and travelled on a zip wire at speeds of more than 100mph.